Joy Kasson’s essay “Naratives of the Female Body: The Greek Slave” discusses Hiram Powers’ sculpture The Greek Slave and how much information it contains on the cultural construction of gender during this time period. Her naked body shows fine details and the beauty of the female body. Over time as our culture has developed, the way people view women has also developed to fit how our culture has changed. In the photo I will be discussing, a photo of Kim Kardashian from Playboy Magazine, one is able to see the similarities of expressing the beauty of the female body while at the same showing a more contemporary view of women.
Hiram Powers’ work The Greek Slave became a very well respected piece of art despite the fact that it showed a nude woman. Some said it even had respectable taste. It was like a classy way of showing the female body and people said it was “so undressed, yet so refined”. Similarly, the photo of Kim Kardashian shows her naked body, but with enough covered so that the image remains classy. She is shown on silk sheets which adds a sort of taste to the image as well. Although certainly not to the same extent as The Greek Slave, this image can also be seen as undressed yet also refined. Granted, this image was for Playboy Magazine, but it still shows her off her body features in a classy way.
In another of Hiram Powers’ works Eve Tempted, it was criticized that Eve appeared to be too daring for the viewers. The story behind The Greek Slave is what made it more socially acceptable. Rather than showing that the woman had power, he took a different turn and showed how she was powerless. He explained the story of how the Turks had taken her from her country and sold her into slavery. You are also able to view how she is powerless because her hands are chained and she is clearly not free. She has been stripped from her clothing and has ended up in this situation by force, not choice.
The photo of Kim Kardashian differs from The Greek Slave,...
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